Review: Joe Satriani at Portsmouth Guildhall

Joe Satriani, front, with bassist Bryan Beller      PICTURE BY GRAHAM HILLING
Joe Satriani, front, with bassist Bryan Beller PICTURE BY GRAHAM HILLING
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SUPERLATIVES wilt in the face of such jaw-droppingly awesome world-class talent as Joe Satriani’s

The words rock guitarist barely describe what a stunned, sell-out crowd witnessed, lifted to almost ethereal heights of instrumental nirvana.

Satriani, a legend to rock cogniscenti, having played with Deep Purple, Mick Jagger, and supergroup Chickenfoot, has to be one of the most technically proficient rock guitarists on the planet.

He taught many of today’s rock stars how to play, and his presence in Portsmouth was a coup for the Guildhall, as the packed house proved.

Cool and smiling in black t-shirt and wraparound shades, he can make his instrument sing, soar, howl, screech and moan.

He can switch effortlessly from hard-rock shredding to soft, tender virtuosity as in the memorable Flying In a Blue Dream and the pulse-quickening Unstoppable Momentum.

He was ably assisted by a top-notch band with blistering drums from Marco Minnemann, rock-steady bass from Bryan Beller, and superb keyboards and additional guitar by Mike Keneally.

Great lighting and back projections added to an unforgettable experience.

Great support too, from English blues guitarist and singer Matt Schofield and his trio with a blend of blues, funk and jazz which point to a bright future.